Who was A.M Ramsay?

In 1936 the SA Housing Trust was established as the country’s first public housing authority. The South Australian government aimed to promote secondary industry, by keeping wages lower than elsewhere and providing low-cost rental housing to workers. In 1943, Alex Maurice Ramsay was employed as economic planner at the Trust and was heavily involved in the plans for West Lakes and the proposed development of the site. These plans included a 2,000 metre rowing course which satisfied international rowing course requirements. People or businesses who bought land along the course were are aware as a condition of sale that there was an international rowing course there which would be used for rowing and other events.The rowing course was named the A M Ramsay Rowing Course after Alex Maurice Ramsay, due to the huge contribution of the inclusion of the course, in the overall development of West Lakes. A.M Ramsay passed away in 1978 leaving the State his great legacy which continues to be enjoyed by residents and visitors.

The A.M Ramsay Regatta Course is a National standard 2km course suitable for rowing, canoeing and dragon boat racing. Located at West Lakes approximately 9km from the city centre and 5km from the airport, the course is home to Rowing SA and the South Australian Sports Institute rowing and canoe and kayak program.

The Rowing SA complex located at the finish line of the Regatta Course includes OAR Café, the administration office, meeting room, storage sheds, indoor training centre and full change facilities.

Management and Booking Forms

The A.M. Ramsay Regatta Course is managed by Rowing SA on behalf of the Government of South Australia. All bookings for the Regatta Course are received and coordinated by Rowing SA. The hire fees received from all Regatta Course bookings are managed separately to Rowing SA’s operational accounts, with all revenue spent solely into the management, maintenance and refurbishment of the Course and infrastructure. It is important to complete the following booking forms for all events held on the Regatta Course to secure your booking.

All reserve hire, waste management/bin hire, irrigation line marking, and all other Council related activities must be booked through the Charles Sturt Council’s External Events Administration Officer on 8408 1127 or

Catering and use of the function area can be organised directly through OAR Café


The Regatta Course is set on a 4.8km boating lake allowing for warm up and training activities. The 2km A.M. Ramsay Rowing Course is a fully cabled course with a complete kevlar rope system, 1.5m underwater, that is independent of any attachment to the adjacent banks and concrete steps.

The grid system is secured with marine grade stainless steel shackles and fittings. Wood pylons act as anchorage points with the ability to secure the pontoon at 250m intervals from start to finish.

Portable Equipment:

9 buoyed lanes: There are 9 buoyed lanes marking the 2,000m regatta course. Buoys are at 10m intervals and red buoys mark the first 100m and the last 200m.

Starting pontoon: The starting pontoon is a 128m x 4m movable pontoon temporarily located at the southern end of the lake. With permanent cross cables every 250m, the starting pontoon can be anchored at 250m intervals.

Starting tower and aligners/timing huts: A temporary starting tower can be erect on its own floating pontoon. Two aligner huts can be erected along the western side of the course at the 250m, 500m, 1,000m, and 1,500m marks.

Permanent fixtures:

Launching pontoon: The launching pontoon is approximately 45m long and 5m wide, with 3 access ramps (incl. wheelchair access).

Judge’s Tower: The Judge’s Tower is located at the northern end of the course. The three-level tower provides for regatta control including an electronic camera/timing system, a tiered umpiring level and a third floor media/commentator balcony.